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So much data, so where to?

globe,business,data As retailers respond to the digital age they are collecting more data than ever before. For years, retailers have been able to collect valuable data – organisational, financial, transactional, customer, and instore data. As retailers have expanded their business across channels and implemented new technologies, they have acquired even more data about their customers – from what products they buy, to the stores they visit, categories they shop on, social accounts they follow, social feedback they share and much more – a wealth of real-time and historical data from both internal and external data sources is there for the taking.

Despite having an abundance of data to work with, this information is still siloed in different systems and departments. As a result, retailers are struggling to aggregate this data and analyse to their advantage. The sheer volume of data available to retailers presents its own complex issues and challenges, but retailers are not alone.

According to Gartner, the global market for business intelligence (BI) software last year reached $14 billion as businesses the world over try to grab hold of their data. The market for BI services was $55 billion in 2015 and is expected to increase to $97 billion in 2016.

With the whole world trying to make sense of this data overload, the holy grail for retailers is to bring together these diverse sets of data in order to understand and uncover hidden customer behaviours and data relationships. Armed with this knowledge, retailers will be able to anticipate buyer demand.

Knowing a customer, understanding and anticipating their needs allows retailers to have the right stock in the right store, at the right time. It also provides the opportunity to create new, exciting and personalised shopping experiences. This leads directly to higher profitability per customer and stronger customer relationships.

Taking information out of silos, bringing together the right data and combining it with predictive analytics is not beyond the reach of Australian retailers. It’s made achievable with a single, consistent retail platform. Microsoft Dynamics for Retail is a modern, unified retail solution that reduces complexity for retailers, freeing them to focus on connecting with customers and empowering their employees across all channels.

It delivers a complete shopping experience, with end-to-end capabilities, from modern point of sale (POS) software solutions, store operations, merchandising, e-commerce, call center, marketing, and customer care, to supply chain, financials, and business analytics. It can be deployed in the way that makes the most sense for your business using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

To learn more about digital transformation in retail, download this free infographic.

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